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#3330401 - 08/21/13 10:40 AM Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case
MUP
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Registered: 08/01/07
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Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case

Associated Press


FORT MEADE, Md. (August 21, 2013) - Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in one of the nation's biggest leak cases since the Pentagon Papers more than a generation ago.

In a brief hearing, military judge Col. Denise Lind didn't offer any explanation for the sentence she gave Manning, 25. The former intelligence analyst was found guilty last month of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act, as part of the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown on media leaks.

But the judge acquitted him of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, an offense that could have meant life in prison without parole.

Manning could have gotten 90 years behind bars. Prosecutors asked for at least 60 years as a warning to other soldiers, while Manning's lawyer suggested he get no more than 25, because some of the documents he leaked will be declassified by then.

The native of Crescent, Okla., digitally copied and released more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department cables, while working in 2010 in Iraq.

He also leaked video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that mistakenly killed at least nine people, including a Reuters photographer.

A potentially more explosive leak case unfolded as Manning's court-martial was underway, when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was charged with espionage for exposing the NSA's Internet and telephone surveillance programs.

At his trial, Manning said he gave the material to the secrets-spilling website WikiLeaks to expose the U.S. military's "bloodlust" and generate debate over the wars and U.S. policy.

During the sentencing phase, he apologized for the damage he caused, saying, "When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people."

His lawyers also argued that Manning suffered extreme inner turmoil over his gender identity _ his feeling that he was a woman trapped in a man's body _ while serving in the macho military, which at the time barred gays from serving openly. Among the evidence was a photo of him in a blond wig and lipstick.

Defense attorney David Coombs told the judge that Manning had been full of youthful idealism.

"He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offenses," Coombs said. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."

Prosecutors did not present any evidence in open court that anyone was physically harmed as a direct result of Manning's actions. But they showed that al-Qaida used material from the helicopter attack in a propaganda video and that Osama bin Laden presumably read some of the leaked documents, which were published online by WikiLeaks. Some of the material was found in bin Laden's compound when it was raided.

Also, government witnesses testified the leaks endangered U.S. intelligence sources, some of whom were moved to other countries for their safety. And several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.

Prosecutors called Manning an anarchist and an attention-seeking traitor, while supporters have hailed him as a whistleblower and likened him to Daniel Ellsberg, the defense analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, to The New York Times and other newspapers.

That case touched off an epic clash between the Nixon administration and the press and led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the First Amendment.

The Obama administration has charged seven people with leaking to the news media, while only three people were prosecuted in all previous administrations combined.

Among those seven is Snowden, whose leak has triggered a fierce debate over security vs. privacy and strained U.S. relations with Russia, which is harboring him despite demands he be returned to this country to face charges.

In addition, the Justice Department has obtained the records of phones used by Associated Press journalists and emails of a Fox News reporter.

Also, a federal appeals court ruled recently that New York Times reporter James Risen cannot shield his source when he testifies at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of leaking information about a secret operation.

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Michael Ratner, has suggested Manning's conviction could make it easier for federal prosecutors to get an indictment against Assange as a co-conspirator.

But other legal experts said the Australian's status as a foreigner and a publisher make it unlikely he will be indicted.


http://www.onenewsnow.com/ap/legal/manning-sentenced-to-35-years-in-wikileaks-case#.UhThIozD_RY
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MUP

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#3330520 - 08/21/13 12:24 PM Re: Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case [Re: MUP]
OHVATN
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“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." H. L. Mencken

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#3330581 - 08/21/13 01:20 PM Re: Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case [Re: OHVATN]
Pic IN the Casa
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Registered: 03/18/11
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Lessseeeee.... In prison, with other males???

Right now he's singing "Hallelujah, It's Raining Men"
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#3332527 - 08/22/13 09:22 PM Re: Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case [Re: Pic IN the Casa]
Wes Parrish
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I suspect he will serve about 3 years of his 35-yr sentence, as Obama will give Manning a full Presidential Pardon on his last day in office.
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#3332642 - 08/22/13 11:04 PM Re: Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case [Re: Wes Parrish]
de novo
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Registered: 07/21/08
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Chelsea will be out soon and a strong advocate for the LGBT community.
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“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”

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#3332666 - 08/23/13 12:18 AM Re: Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case [Re: de novo]
Bambi Buster
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Registered: 01/29/04
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 Originally Posted By: de novo
Chelsea will be out soon and a strong advocate for the LGBT community.


I suspect you're right.
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"The American military is like a finely crafted sword. To be effective, it must be wielded by a discerning, skilled and merciless hand."

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